Introduction to Philippians - PH01-01
is the first session of a new study. This
is introduction to the book of
The first verse
of the book
of Philippians says, “Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus
Christ to all the
saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi with the bishops and the
It is our hope
that the study in the book of
Philippians will prove to be one of your finest hours in the Word of
book is one of the most personal and intimate of Paul’s
letters to the believers of the New Testament churches.
is a book that reflects a certain joy
and a certain exuberance and a sense of well-being—a book
which deals with the
secret of inner happiness which is particularly striking since Paul
book from prison during the period of his first imprisonment in the
Philippian church was a church that delighted the heart
of the apostle Paul because it was such a stable group of believers. It
was a well-organized church with its
pastor-teacher leadership and with its working board of deacons. It
was a church that was responsive to the
Word of God.
It was responsive
instruction which it was receiving. It
was not a church free of troubles, and we shall see that
we’ll touch upon some
of Paul’s admonitions to some of the people in the church to
squabbles straightened out and to get their relationships in the right
but on the whole, this was a church that he loved.
from the prison in Rome, he delighted to
write this which was one of four epistles (this probably the last of
that he wrote there.
going to try to spend a little time, and maybe next
time, in explaining to you how we receive from the Word of God the
that God has prepared—the information that keeps us from
being spiritual fools;
the information that keeps you from being conned by some nice Christian
negative and who is resisting, but who may bear some weight of
your life, that if you understood the Word of God you would not lest
person bear that weight of influence; how we can come to the place
matter what hell and high water is raging around us outside, we are
within in a
state of millennium.
Christians have arrived at that point. It’s
because of the breakdown of the work
within the ministry and of the alerting to Christian people of what
primary responsibility in life is, and that is to get themselves filled
knowledge and an understanding of God’s viewpoint; to take
care of that
spiritual deficiency … that we are all plagued by, and which
until we solve, we
are pathetic creatures moving through life.
We will not be
stable nor will we be prepared for anything. Yet
God says, “I have always been happy.” God
has never been unhappy.
He never will be
And God says,
“What I want for you is to
share my joy.”
you realize what that means?
“I want you to have not one moment
where you do not experience happiness; where you are not entering into
Now those are not
This is what God
says is in
His plan for you.
If you are not in
plan, it is because you are not functioning under the methods that He
provided for you to enter into that happiness.
So this should be
a great book because this book has a great deal to say
about how we enter into what God has prepared for us.
Method of Interpretation
are some methods of interpreting the Word of God, and
that’s what it all comes down to. We’re
going to spend our time interpreting this book and explaining it so
will understand it and be able to enter into it. There
are some false methods of explaining
the Word of God which we should mention.
One is called the
This is where
people read the Bible and say, “Now under the literal
words there is a hidden meaning. And
going to look to see if I can find that hidden meaning.” The
imagination just breaks loose.
This is the
favorite kind of preaching of the
minister who does not prepare himself to get up in the pulpit to speak
Instead he gets
up and he’s
going to talk to you from his heart, which means he’s going
to talk to you from
his empty head.
doesn’t have to think
He can just read
Scripture and then he can just start imagining here and imagining there
imagining here, and sometimes he can be very impressive, if
he’s good with
words, and you’ll go out and say, “Now that was
But you got
nothing for what was such a “something.”
allegorical method is a disastrous area
in the treatment of the Word of God.
The Mystical Method
second method is called the mystical method. This
is again where you take the literal Scripture
and then you look for an inner light to lead you to its significance. You
just have some feeling about this. You
just feel that this is what this must
Now you can
always spot a Sunday
School teacher who doesn’t know up from down by the fact that
he will run a
class and he will read a Scripture and he will say, “Alright,
now, Mr. Jones,
what do you feel that means?” And
Jones will share his ignorance about what he feels that means. Then
he’ll ask Mr. Smith for the sharing of
And pretty soon
has shared their ignorance of their feelings because our feelings have
They have no
They have no
Only our minds
can have understanding and
thereby direct our feelings.
You should be
able to spot when somebody is shelling out to you devotional
and telling you this is going to advance you spiritually, because it
is tricky because the person stands up before you and
you look at him and you know what his theological position is. He
is just as sound as could be in his
He stands up and
he reads the
Bible to you.
He is actually
verses out of the Word of God to you.
the Word of God coming to me.
If you listen
carefully and are alerted to this, after a while you will
discover, “You know, he’s not explaining that
Scripture at all.
just talking to me.
just inspiring me.
But he is not
telling me what God thinks so
when I leave here I will know everything that that preacher thinks and
moves his emotions, but I won’t know a thing about what God
thinks and what God
wants me to know to move my emotions in His way. The
mystical method is not God’s way of
interpreting the Word.
The Rational Method
method is rationalistic—reasoning. What
do you think this reasonably means. If
the Bible says like in the book of
Revelation, you say, “Now that book is unreasonable.
you realize what the book of Revelation
The book of
Revelation says that
every effort of human governments is going to come to disaster. Every
effort of the United States to improve
its position on the world scene is headed for disappointment. Every
effort of the United States to solve
its social problems is doomed.
effort to improve our society and to reverse the trends toward evil is
rationalist says, “Oh that is so pessimistic.
just can’t believe that. I
like to be more optimistic.” And
when the optimist tells me that, I like
to remind him that there have been something like 20 or 30 generations
preceded him, who came along with the same optimistic drives and said,
are going to solve the disastrous directions of our society,”
only to find they’re
repeating efforts that have long since been tried and discarded. Rationalism
will not lead you to the knowledge
of the mind of God.
It will be ready
reject what God has to say.
there is neo-orthodoxy that we’ve already studied which
says that the truth is what I see it to be at the moment—how
So the Bible may
tell me something
or it may not.
It depends upon
Grammatical Method of Interpretation
there is a true method of interpretation. This
is what you should be looking for when
you go to church.
When you attend
you should understand that God has a method for explaining His Word. You
don’t have to sit in very many services
before you can spot and say, “Listen, this gentleman is not
scriptural method for explaining the Word of God. He’s
playing me for a do-do bird by what he’s
Learn the method. Then
you will be able to spot the people who
are conning you into thinking that you have been brought into a contact
the mind of God and have been brought into a spiritual experience and
gotten exactly nothing. If
you think you
have something spiritually and start living on that, you are headed for
disasters in your life.
method that God has is sometimes called the historical grammatical
method of interpretation.
In the New
Testament church, this was the method of interpreting the Scriptures. It
fell into disuse and was revived during
the reformation when the reformers insisted on returning to the
the Bible in all things relative to faith and practice.
historical grammatical method has certain
One of them is
deals with the meaning of words. It
deals with the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew words in the normal
which those words were used.
It does not
put into them certain figurative connotations.
This is often
done with the Bible.
amillennialist rejects the book of the Revelation because he says
unreasonable what that book says is going to happen to this earth. Therefore
he spiritualizes it.
He makes it
example, I had a professor in the Bible department in
college who said, “Now when the book of the Revelation says
that Christ is
going to return and we are going to reign with him for 1,000 years on
earth, that doesn’t mean 1,000 actual years.
That just means a
long period of time, like you say, ‘Oh, I’ve got so
much to do, it will take me a million years to get this done.’ You
don’t mean a million years.” Now
on what basis did he have a right to say
that 1,000 years does not mean 1,000 years?
No basis at all,
except that he rejected the biblical method of
interpreting the Word of God which is the historical grammatical method.
this method deals with individual words and what they
Do you see a
problem arising here
not talking about the
words in the English Bible.
study the book of Philippians, we have to know what the words in the
Bible mean because that’s what the Holy Spirit wrote it in. If
you are going to understand your English
Bible, somebody has to take these Greek words for you, out of which we
English translation, and say, “Here’s what they
can’t give you just an English word that
fully connotes the meaning of a certain Greek word.
you know what that original is, you
don’t know what the Bible says at all.
why the average Christian knows so little about the Bible, and
why when he comes to crises he can’t meet the crises in life.
had a problem the other day.
It was a real
And what was the
first thing they said?
will you come over and pray with me?” Well,
I don’t mind praying with people, but I
don’t like to pray with people who haven’t been
around in church studying the
Word of God.
I notice that the
who don’t come to church are the first ones to call me when
they’re in trouble
and say, “Will you come over and pray with me?”
“Will you come over and counsel with me?”
what in the world do you think I’m
doing Sunday after Sunday … except counseling you?
giving you the answer to things now out
of the Word of God, before you ever get to them.
you come along and you’ve got a problem in your life, or
somebody comes along and throws you a curve that you can’t
or literally, and then you wonder what’s wrong with me, the
answer is that you
haven’t prepared in the Word of God.
what’s wrong with you. You’re
not going to be prepared.
going to be able to go to somebody and say, “Counsel
If anybody sits
down and says, “Yes, I’ll
tell you brother; here is this verse here; that will give you the
a fool if you believe that.” Anybody
knows anything will know that the answers to most of your problems are
going to take a handful of tapes and say, “Here.
discuss this issue.
Listen to these
and maybe you’ll understand
where you went wrong.”
have to bring together the fact that God says, “I want
you to be happy.”
And over here you
“I’m not happy.” Now
is God wrong?
Has He failed in
Not at all.
You study the
Word of God and you’re still not happy. There
is something missing in the connecting
link, and that’s what explaining what pastor-teacher business
is all about, to
bring you to the point where you are what God has planned for you. You
cannot do that when you get in
don’t come looking for answers when you’re in
when you’ve been too busy and too preoccupied and too big and
self-confident to be able to be here in such a simple little thing as
a little time, like an hour at a time, in the study of the Word of God. If
you do that, over a period of time, you
will be prepared.
You have a
within your being there is no way that you can meet your problems until
deficiency is filled.
You will not meet
that deficiency overnight.
That takes a
period of time to do.
we are concerned with the meaning of words in the
historical grammatical technique. We
also interested in interpreting the grammar.
We want to know
what the Greek grammar tells us about the meaning of
these words that have been written. This
is called “exegesis.” That’s
pastor-teacher is trying to do.
a passage of Scripture and he’s trying to
“exegete” it; to explain it to you;
to tell you on the basis of the original language as the grammatical
reveal the meanings that are involved in what the Holy Spirit had the
Unless you do it
this way, to
find the relationship between words, you will not understand what the
this method also brings the background of Scripture
into the picture.
what we mean by
brings into the
picture the customs when this book was written, such as the book of
What was the
For example, what
kind of a town was
important that we know
what kind of town Philippi was in order to understand some of the
Paul is going to say in this book? What
kind of a church was Philippi?
the condition of the Empire at that time?
What was the
These are all the
background factors upon which this book was
We have to know
understand what was in the writer’s mind.
This is called
simply means the background of the writing at the time that it was
this method also involves certain rules of
sometimes they’re called axioms—self-evident axioms. We’re
going to look at some of those.
These have to be
respected or the
interpretation will be wrong.
example, one self-evident rule would be that you cannot interpret one
the Bible in such a way that it contradicts what other verses in the
It would be
obvious that if you
have an obscure passage that you’re not sure for some reason
exactly what that
means, that you would interpret it by passages on which we
don’t have doubt on
the same subject.
There are certain
rules that govern proper interpretation of the Bible.
result is that we can read the Word of
God and we can interpret it on the basis of the exegesis, the
isagogics, and the
hermeneutics, and we can put this into classification.
is, we call these doctrinal categories—bringing
together everything that the Bible says on one subject.
example, the Bible has something to say about the old
sin nature, so we bring together everything that the Bible says on that
subject, and some place along the line we say, “OK, here are
several points to
remember about the old sin nature. And
as you train yourself to take these summaries and think your way
you will come to an understanding concerning that subject and what God
revealed on it.
Then you will be
prepared to meet problems that arise in your life as this particular
that particular piece of information needs to be brought to bear upon
you know these
summaries of truth, you’re not to get to first base on all
kinds of issues that
you’re going to have to face in life.
two years ago we discussed some of the things the
Bible has to say about war and a nation preserving its entity, and
attitude of the hippie world.
interesting that back then, a couple of ago, some statements were made,
can go listen to it on those tapes, concerning the expression of
Jane Fonda, Ramsey Clark, Tom Haden, and others of the radical student
I thought it was
interesting that now at this point, because we interpreted what was
in our society from the frame of reference of classifications of
concerning the matter of war, and came to certain conclusions, that
conclusions are being confirmed in the experience of the returning POWs. The
returning POWs have been consistently
reflecting the attitude in discussing those who were visiting Hanoi,
and Clark and Haden, and those who were seeking to remove the United
from its role of resisting communism, that these people have been
viewed by the POWs in a disreputable disgusting loathsome light. They’ve
had nothing but something derogatory
to say about them.
Fonda and her new husband Haden made a
What was the
returning POWs are pawns of the
They are do-dos,
and in her own words the point was that these people are stupid. They
I thought it was
very interesting how the
communist character comes through the mouth of these people because the
communist always reassures that you don’t know
what’s good for you.
Here are these
men who have borne up
heroically and have come home and said, “We did the right
We resisted the
enemy and we did not yield,
and unfortunately our government did not fight the war to the
which it should have fought it.” But
it as it may, these men have come home and they know the kind of a
situation they went through.
need some Fonda and some Haden to tell them that they don’t
things and to explain to them how they should feel about it.
we came to right conclusions concerning the attitudes
that were being projected a couple of years ago. We
came to those conclusions because we had a
classification of Scripture that gave us God’s viewpoint and
we could apply it
to that situation.
can’t help but be
a winner if you have these classifications of Scripture in your mind to
you want to help our society, if you want to help
humanity, this is the way to do it: Get
God’s viewpoint into your thinking, and the result will be
that you will not be
coming up with all these hair-brained schemes that our political
up with to solve human problems, and problems there are, but you will
with ideas that at least are compatible with the Word of God so that
some hope of working out.
historical grammatical of interpreting Scripture brings
us to this kind of understanding. Remember
that every passage of Scripture has only one meaning.
is only one interpretation for a
passage of Scripture.
God has given us
method to come to that meaning.
do not come to that meaning, it is because of the problems of some
understanding on the part of the exegete or some lack of information
not give us an understanding of what God has written.
has not given us a New Testament in order
to keep us confused and in the dark. He
has given us a book that we can interpret and where we can come to an
understanding of what He means.
we are going to study the book of Philippians on this
background with this technique and with this method.
going to look further at this method a
little later in order to help you to understand why God says,
“Do not neglect
the assembling of yourselves together.”
Why God says,
“Respect, obey, and respond to the pastor-teachers that I
have put in charge of your assembly to instruct you.” Your
whole life and blessing is dependent
If you fail to be
to listen, or the pastor-teacher fails to be prepared to explain, then
no other solution for your problems. You’re
why this has to be done
in God’s order.
we’re going to try to take you to where you will see and
understand, and you cannot just say, “Now I’m going
to sit home.
going to sit here in my favorite rocking
going to look out here at my
beautiful bay window here, looking on the gentle flowing waters of the
River, and I’m going to sing a little chorus here, and then
I’m going to read
the Word of God.”
So you rock and
read the Word of God, and you say, “Now Lord, speak to my
And you read a
little more, and God speaks to
your heart if you’re listening, because what God is saying
is, “You’re a dummy,
Get off your
“you are off your rocker. You
think you’re on your rocker but you’re
off of it.
Get yourself in
where the Word is being explained
according to this principle.” You’ll
amazed at the kind of a person you will become.
You will enter
into all things that God has for you, and the most
relaxed life you have ever imagined. And
you quit making all of those stupid mistakes that you’ve been
making, and you’ll
start functioning under the happiness that God intended you to have all
Philippi – Phillip
and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ to all the
saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi.”
The city of
We need to
look at this city a little bit about its background.
was founded by Phillip II of Macedonia who
was the father of Alexander the Great. Philippi
was rich in gold mines and silver mines which made it very very
Philip of Macedonia.
It was necessary
him for his expansion.
He had a saying
that there was no fortress which was impregnable to which an ass laden
gold could be brought.
He could always
bribe his way into any fortress, and he had gold galore.
the location of the area of Philippi was invaluable in
the early days of the Macedonian empire.
was a city called Krinides on the site of what later became
“Krinides” means “the
little fountains,” because from this location flowed several
watered the city and the countryside and made it a fertile place. When
Phillip of Macedon took it over, he
enlarged the city.
He re-founded it,
to speak, in 358 B. C., and he named it after
city was ten miles inland from the seaport Neapolis on
the west coast of the Aegean Sea. There
was one of the famous Roman roads, the Via Egnatia, which connected
the port city, over a path that went up 1500 feet high over
… (a mountain)
range into the city of Philippi. It
quite an impressive site just traveling that road from the seaport of
ten miles to Philippi.
itself was on a hill dominating a plain … through
which ran the Gangites River.
position was very strategic geographically because it was the natural
from Europe into Asia.
This is one
reason that Phillip of Macedon established himself here and made this a
It gave him a
commanding position in the control of that part of the world.
political status of Philippi changed in time. Two
centuries after its founding in 168 B. C.,
it was conquered in Rome.
The gold mines
by this time had become exhausted, and Philippi had now become a
However, in 42 B.
an historic battle was fought here on the sight of Philippi, and
became a major city.
you may remember from ancient history, were two of the conspirators
for the assassination of Julius Caesar.
After the death
of Caesar, Brutus and Cassius met Anthony and Octavian
in battle for deciding who was going to run the Roman Empire. After
two battles, Anthony and Octavian, who
later became known as Augustus—the Augustus who was ruling
when Jesus was born,
conquered Brutus and Cassius, and the period of the Roman Republic came
end, and the Roman Empire then began.
Upon this battle,
and to commemorate this victory, the city of Philippi
was declared a Roman colony.
For a city
to be declared a Roman colony meant that it was viewed as being an
When you entered
the city of
Philippi, it was the same thing relative to your rights as a citizen,
the same thing as if you had walked into the city of Rome.
settled his discharged veterans in Philippi. Later
Anthony and Cleopatra lost out to
Octavian, and Octavian took over as Caesar Augustus who was ruling when
Anthony had been sent to Philippi from their estates in Italy. Consequently,
Philippi became sort of a
It was filled
as certain privileges as a Roman colony. To
be declared a colony meant that you had
That meant that
could not be scourged.
It meant you
could not be
arrested, except in extreme cases. It
meant you could not be punished without due process of a trial. It
meant that if you didn’t like the trial, since
you were a citizen of a Roman colony, you could appeal to Caesar to
It was sort of
like a Supreme
people in Philippi spoke Latin.
They dressed in
Roman style, and they were
Romans all the way down the line. The
army veterans were given land grants so it was an attractive place for
people to retire to.
granted also what was known as the Ius Italicum, which was a
all the inhabitants of this city had certain economic privileges. Under
this ruling, you didn’t pay taxes, as a
citizen of Philippi.
You had the right
to own and to sell private property. You
had certain political privileges. You
freedom from the authority of the provincial governor.
regulated its own civic
It was a very
ideal place to
was ruled by two magistrates.
They were called
the Praetores ...
actually two civic
In Acts 16:22 you
reference to these magistrates.
translation there is “magistrates.” It’s
the Praetores who are actually referred to.
were assisted by certain policemen were called Lictores.
Bible translates them as “sergeants.” It
was these sergeants who carried the Fasces,
which you have seen, which was an ax surrounded by rods, the symbol of
As the Praetores
their business as magistrates, they were followed by Lictores carrying
which was the instrument of punishment because it was these rods on the
were used to beat Paul and Silas later when they were imprisoned in
the orders of the Praetores.
Lictores were actually sort of bodyguards.
Acts 16 we have the historical account of the founding of
the church at Philippi.
This city was
the first city that Paul visited in Europe.
In Acts 16:11,
the context tells us about the vision that Paul had on
his second missionary journey.
traveling with Silas and Timothy. For
some reason Paul had been strangely hindered from ministry in Asia and
that he was interested in pursuing.
Instead he went
to the seaport of Troas on the Aegean Sea. There
he had a vision of a man from
Macedonia, one of the provinces of Greece, in the North.
man of Macedonia was a call to the
apostle Paul to bring the Christian message to Europe, across from Asia.
days later they landed at Neapolis, the seaport
Ten miles inland
At this point
Now the four of
Timothy, and Luke—moved into the city of Philippi.
came into this city and found no
few Jews in Philippi.
This was strictly
a Gentile city.
There were a few
who were proselytes who had been converts to the Jewish faith. They
met on the Sabbath day in worship down
by the riverside on the Gangites River.
16:13 says, “And on the Sabbath we went out of the city
by the riverside where prayer was accustomed to be made, and we sat
spoke unto the women who resorted there.”
There the apostle
Paul found a certain businesswoman named Lydia. Verse
14 says that she was a seller of purple
from the city of Thyatira.
a dye highly valued as a color in the Roman Empire.
was secured from a shellfish but you could
only get one drop of the dye from one shellfish. Consequently
it was very very expensive.
It was a very
involved in the business of securing
the purple dye from the shellfish. The
purple garments industry was a big thing in a Roman colony like
purple was a royal color, and therefore in high demand.
reality of this woman’s conversion, which is what
happened when Paul spoke to her, it says she listened to the message,
heart the Lord opened.” God
Spirit brought conviction to her mentality concerning the gospel
attended under the things which were
spoken by Paul,” she went positive and believed the gospel. Consequently
she was born again.
when she was baptized and her household,
she besought us saying, ‘If ye have judged me to be faithful
to the Lord, come
into my house and abide there,’ and she constrained us. Immediately
upon her conversion, God the Holy
Spirit led her into an expression of divine good, which even a new
has not had his spiritual deficiency filled through the exposition of
of God, is capable of doing.
capable of producing diving good under the filling of God the Holy
We see from Acts
several men and women were subsequently saved in this contact of Paul
party, and thus the Philippian church began.
they went out of the prison and entered into the house of Lydia,
and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them and
This was the
group of believers that
subsequently had been gathered.
Acts 16:16-24, we have the story of Paul’s trial in
Paul had cast out
a demon from
a fortune-telling girl in the city of Philippi.
The result was
that her ability to tell the future ceased. Once
the demon was taken out, she could no
longer predict the future.
who are possessed with demons can make fantastic predictions about the
because the demonic world has great information concerning the future.
girl had brought much financial gain to her
they were (upset)
when they discovered that the girl could no longer predict the future
as a result their source of income was cut off.
So they made some
inflammatory charges against Paul and Silas in order
to cover their own greed and their vengeance.
Praetores, without looking into the matter, ordered the
Lictores to beat Paul and Silas, and to cast them into prison, which
Now we have told
you enough about
the city of Philippi as a Roman colony, and we remind you that the
was a Roman citizen.
So the Praetores
could not have done a worse thing than to beat a Roman citizen without
process of a trial and then to have cast them into prison.
story continues here with what you’re
well acquainted with of the earthquake that came that night as Paul and
were in this Philippian jail, singing hymns and praising God, after
accused of being Jewish troublemakers and anti-Roman.
earthquake at midnight broke the doors
The jailer was
about to kill
himself because he had to pay with his life for any escaped prisoner,
thought everybody had fled.
The result was
that the jailer was saved as
well as his family.
next day the word was passed on to the magistrates, the
Praetores, exactly who Paul was relative to his citizenship. So
they gave the order to release them. Paul
refused to leave.
“I want you to come down here, and I
want you personally to unlock this door and take us out.
have been branded.
We, as Christian
missionaries, have been
publicly branded as criminals.
for that to be publicly rescinded.” So
the magistrates were not going to take any chance.
knew that they were in deep trouble to
have acted like this, to abuse their authority in a Roman colony in
They rushed down
to the prison,
brought the band out, lined up the Marine band, played Stars and
Forever, and out of the prison came Paul marching with the flags all
salute, and it was really a magnificent occasion.
having established the infant church at Philippi,
left, bearing in his body the wounds that had cause to bring that
existence, to give it birth.
behind to guide the believers.
reverts at this point to using the third person again instead of the
that he uses when he’s part of the party, so we know that he
book that we’re going to study is a letter to this
church that Paul established and founded in this way. Paul
is now in prison in Rome when he writes
that my bonds in Christ are
manifest in all the palace and in all other places.
is in Rome.
He is in prison. Philippians
4:22 also indicates this:
the saints greet you, chiefly they that
are of Caesar’s household.” The
of Paul’s contact in Rome was to bring many who were in
Caesar’s own household
into the faith.
sending their greetings to the Philippian Christians from Rome.
occasion of this letter was the arrival of Epaphroditus
from the Philippian church to visit Paul in Rome. He
had brought from the Philippian church a
financial gift for Paul for the support of Paul and his ministry. Paul
had received a gift from them once
before at Thessalonica.
This was a
journey of 800 miles for Epaphroditus to cover from Rome to Philippi. It
was going from New York to Chicago, or
going from Dallas to Denver, which was no mean trip in those days.
was very grateful for the remembrance sent to him and
also for the ministry of Epaphroditus while he was with him. Paul
at this time was briefed on the status
of the Philippian church.
says, “Here’s the way things are back in the church
in the Roman colony of
On the basis of
briefing, which by and large was very encouraging, Paul was really in
This was a church
delighted his heart.
He sat down and
wrote the letter because Epaphroditus was going back, and therefore he
messenger to carry the letter.
Holy Spirit moved in in the year 61 A. D. and formed another segment of
Testament canon of Scripture as this book was written.
return was somewhat delayed by an illness
of Epaphroditus, an illness from which he almost died.
when he recovered, Paul sent this letter,
thanking them for this gift that they had sent him.
purpose in writing Philippians we may sum up in
for their fellowship;
confidence in their spiritual progress; and, to express hope for
1:3-11 (the first two verses are his salutation.); 2) His purpose was
his own circumstances, his own hopes, and his own fears (Philippians
and, 3) His purpose was to exhort them to unity, to humility, and to
consistency (Philippians 1:27 – 2:18); 4) To inform them of
his purpose to send
Timothy and Epaphroditus to them (Philippians 2:19-30); 5) His purpose
warn them against the Judaizers (Philippians 3:1-14) and the
(Philippians 3:15 – 4:1); 6) To appeal for the reconciliation
Euodia and Syntyche,
two women who were squabbling in the church (Philippians 4:2-3); 7) To
the Philippians to joyfulness, prayerfulness, and the pursuit of all
that is divine
good (Philippians 4:4-9); 8) To express his gratitude for their recent
financial gift (Philippians 4:10-20); and finally, 9) To send greetings
the believers at Philippi (Philippians 4:21-23).
time we will introduce you in a little more specific
detail to the technique of interpreting Scripture on the basis of the
historical grammatical method.
that when we are through, you will see how absolutely essential it is
to be regular in the habit of attending the explanation periods in the
church services of the Word of God.
Without that, you
simply will never make it.
John E. Danish, 1973
to the Philippians index
the Bible Questions index